Prime News Ghana

Yakubu wins 29th Milo Marathon

By Mike Abayateye
 Yakubu on his way to victory
Yakubu on his way to victory
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An explosive run from Malik Yakubu has ensured that another Ghanaian emerged as the winner of the 29th edition of the Accra Milo held today (Wednesday, September 21).

After last two edition’s upset of a Kenyan Alex Kimeli winning the event, the Ghanaians have woken up from their sleep and restored national pride again last year through Alhaji Kassim Mohammed.

That pride was solidified again as Ashanti region’s Yakubu, impressively won this year’s event with a time of two hours, 22 minutes and 46 second to walk away with the cash prize of GHC15, OOO as well as products from Milo and Voltic.

The Millennium Marathon winner took an impressive lead midway through the race and maintained his composure and pace to become the new marathon King.

He was followed by last year’s winner, Alhaji Kassim Mohammed who finished in two hours, 22 minutes and 59 seconds.

Though the defending champion made a good chase close to the finishing line, he could not beat the determined Yakubu and settled for the second position to take home a cash prize of GHC5000 as well as products from Milo and Voltic.

The third prize was taken by Joseph Yandal of the Ghana Police Service who made a time of two hours, 23 minutes and 14 seconds and received GHC3000 and products for his effort.

In the Ladies event however it was 19-year-old Elizabeth Azuri who emerged as the winner to walk away with the GHC15, 000 cash prize and other goodies at stake.

The young runner who placed fourth last year managed to beat stiff competition from last year winner Sakat Yariba, who settled for the second position and took home GHC5000 and products from sponsors.

Veteran female runner, Elizabeth Bortsor of the Ghana Police Service followed with the third position and received GHC3000 and products from Milo and Voltic for her efforts.

Milo products were presented to the first 20 runners while other participants also received certificates of participation.

About nine thousand runners participated in the main 42.2km mass race while the fun race also saw over thousand runners participating.

The non-competitive race introduced last year would see Nestle Ghana providing 40,000 shoes to the needy in selected schools across the country.

Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye said the Marathon in the past produced champions that won laurels for the country at the international level.

He stated that, games at the schools and colleges level would be revived to comprehensively develop sports across the country.

The Minister called on corporate entities to assist in reviving colts football as well as other sporting disciplines.

“It is a pity to see Ghana participate at international competitions without winning medals but government cannot do it alone and would require support from corporate Ghana,” he stated.

He added that, there would be aggressive development promotional activities that would attract corporate support.

He also congratulated the winners and sponsors for their efforts adding that the winners would be considered in their plans towards Tokyo 2020.

Managing Director of Nestle, Freda Duplan pledged continues support and urged runners to continue training for subsequent events.

Milo she said is committed to the development of sports in the country especially at the grassroots level and would involve all stakeholders across the country to assist in the growth of sports.

She expressed appreciation to the runners in the 5km category adding that the 40,000 shoes would be distributed in selected districts across the country in November.